In this article, we will discuss Parkinson’s disease and two of the common symptoms, Parkinson’s tremors, and dyskinesia symptoms, which are the result of this devastating disease. We will also discuss several types of medications that can be prescribed to help combat these symptoms and provide some relief to the patient.
Parkinson’s disease begins when the “nerve cell damage in the brain occurs that causes the dopamine levels to drop.” This disorder of the “central nervous system”, occurs when low levels of dopamine occur in the brain and affect movement in the body. There is no cure for this disease, but medication and therapy can help prolong the progression or prevent symptoms.
1. Parkinson’s vs. dyskinesia symptoms
Symptoms of this disease usually go unnoticed until Parkinson’s tremors begin. The Parkinson’s tremors start on one side of the body, usually the beginning with the hands or the fingers. This involuntary shaking in limbs will sometimes branch out to the rest of the body. These tremors are frustrating to the patient because they cannot get them to stop. The tremors will lessen while the person is sleeping or moving. This is why exercise is so important for these patients. Dyskinesia symptoms, on the other hand, are also common in Parkinson’s patients. Dyskinesia is the “involuntary and erratic movements of the face arms, legs or trunk.” Dyskinesia symptoms are caused by the medications used to treat this disease. Other medications may be prescribed to help offset the involuntary movements in the patient.
2. Parkinson’s medications
Parkinson’s disease medications used to treat symptoms work to control the symptoms of this disease. The medications cannot reverse the effects of Parkinson’s disease, but help the patient lead a normal life. “Carbidopa-Levodopa”, is considered the most effective Parkinson’s disease medications. It contains a “natural chemical that passes into the brain and converts to dopamine.” Yet, after years of using this medication, the benefits will decrease. Carbidopa-Levodopa can also be used as an infusion that requires a surgical procedure to administer to the patient’s small intestine. This is performed only those patients who have advanced Parkinson’s disease.
3. Levodopa and dyskinesia
More medications such as “Dopamine Agonists”, “Mao-B inhibitors”, Entacapone (Comtan)” and “Safinamide”, are used in conjunction with Carbidopa-Levodopa to help “smooth”, the on/off effects that Levodopa may exhibit. Parkinson’s patients must be monitored by their physicians in order that the appropriate dosage is prescribed. Lapses in using these medications may exacerbate the symptoms, so it’s very important for the patient to stick to the medication schedules.
4. Ongoing research
Scientists are searching for new treatments to help people with this disease and how older treatments can be handled. Parkinson’s disease medications can help people treat their tremors or dyskinesia and other debilitating symptoms. Someday, there will be a cure, but until then, medication will help patients lead normal lives.